Date of Conferral

2014

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Business Administration

Advisor

Dr. Bruce Lazar

Abstract

Small business owners and small business managers tend to favor different information technology (IT) governance structures. Such differences can lead to ineffective management and control of IT in small businesses. The purpose of this correlational study was to examine the extent and nature of the association between owner-manager separation in small businesses and the structure of IT governance in the businesses. Agency theory formed the theoretical framework of this study. Data were collected using a web-based survey and randomly sampled 3,697 small business owners and managers located in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Chi-square statistics indicated no significant association between owner-manager separation and the IT governance structure used in small businesses. A centralized form of IT governance was most prevalent in small businesses. Small business owners maintained influence over IT governance decisions despite ceding responsibility to managers for operational components of their business, a condition that appears to conflict with pure agency theory. The research findings may contribute to a better understanding of technology governance in small businesses, which in turn could lead to more effective and efficient operation of those businesses. Increases in small business effectiveness and efficiency can result in positive social change from greater employment opportunities as small businesses prosper and grow.